WOW, Walter Mosely’s essay “For Authors, Fragile Ideas Need Loving Every Day” in the New York Times series “WRITERS ON WRITING” encapsulates much of my recent artistic journey and even reiterates some of things I have commented on over the last ten weeks!
If you want to be a writer, you have to write every day. The consistency, the monotony, the certainty, all vagaries and passions are covered by this daily reoccurrence.~WALTER MOSELY
I agree with Walter Mosely in whatever we do creatively, we must do it every day! As many of you may have seen, I shared my “Top 10 Suggestion List To Live the Creative Life” and I listed my number one suggestion: “Always create something each & every day for the rest of your life.”
For the last several years, I have written and/or created something / anything every day: a thought, a phrase, a poem, a passage. I especially like to jot down (on paper, or text my email) random things that seem to materialize out of the ether.
She comes softly and quietly, behind your left ear or in a corner of the next room. Her words are whispers, her ideas shifting renditions of possibilities that have not been resolved, though they have occurred and reoccurred a thousand times in your mind. She, or it, is a collection of memories not exactly your own.
These reminiscences surface in dreams or out of abstract notions brought on by tastes and excitations, failures and hopes that you experience continually. These ideas have no physical form. They are smoky concepts liable to disappear at the slightest disturbance. An alarm clock or a ringing telephone will dispel a new character; answering the call will erase a chapter from the world.~WALTER MOSELY
I recently described and posted about my writing muses, my gathering smoke, my galloping night and day mare.
when i was a kid, i felt so much more freedom writing my prose than my poetry. i would rarely edit my poetry. i was afraid i wouldn’t be able to keep it pure, and spontaneous, that i would lose those angels who whispered it to me. i had to trust the hushed words of these special angels.
i did feel more expressive and free when writing my short stories, tho. i would write and write and write in a long flow of consciousness, unconsciousness, via my faeries who whispered to me. then i would go back to read and to edit these whispers, knowing that my freaky little faeries were fleeting beings that needed to be tamed and managed – because they often misguided humans with their spontaneous ramblings and dubious murmurings. but i was grateful they spoke quietly to me, nonetheless.~sb
Sometimes I even thought they were Erato, Thalia, Melpomene, but most other times, they were my angels, faeries, even demons, calling, or haunting, or taunting me. I feared they weren’t just dormant for several years, but just because I couldn’t hear them, didn’t mean they weren’t there. They were just quieter or I kept my life too loud, and myself too busy and occupied with reality – work – obligation – responsibilities.
Kahlil Gibran said, “When you are born, your work is placed in your heart.”
I believe there is “art” in every one. Whether or not we listen to our heart/art is a different matter. Some people are scared, nervous following the voice of “reason” and their left analytical brain. Others are courageous, joyful and listening to their right brain, their heart/art and intuitive inner voice.
Writing a novel is gathering smoke. It’s an excursion into the ether of ideas. There’s no time to waste. You must work with that idea as well as you can, jotting down notes and dialogue.
The first day the dream you gathered will linger, but it won’t last long. The next day you have to return to tend to your flimsy vapors. You have to brush them, reshape them, breathe into them and gather more.
It doesn’t matter what time of day you work, but you have to work every day because creation, like life, is always slipping away from you. You must write every day, but there’s no time limit on how long you have to write.~WALTER MOSELY
One of the reasons I keep pen and paper by my bed, on my kitchen table (I have at least six small yellow writing pads with pens scattered throughout my flat) is so my dreams and my inspirations, don’t completely turn to ether, dust or just fly away. I remind myself that the word inspire comes from the word “in spirit.”
Dreaming and being an artist is my passion. I am so appreciative of my courage to pursue my inspirations.
Reality fights against your dreams, it tries to deny creation and change. The world wants you to be someone known, someone with solid ideas, not blowing smoke. Given a day, reality will begin to scatter your notions; given two days, it will drive them off.~WALTER MOSELY
I decided a decade ago that I didn’t want to end up like Tolstoy’s Ivan Ilyich on his deathbed muttering, “What if my whole life has been wrong?” I gave “reality” seven years of my life (now it feels like that wasn’t even real; being creative is more “real” and really living) but it only took about two years to truly become courageous, get back my notions, embrace my dreams, and hear my angels whisper to me again.
The past ten weeks in my writer’s group have been revealing and inspiring.~sb